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on July 9, 2012
I've enjoyed both of the "Long Way" books. They're an enjoyable read even if they aren't great literature or exceptional travel writing. Ewan and Charley seem like two great guys and their humanity and down-to-earth natures really show in these stories. Some of the reviews here have been negative, with many of them criticizing the trip's supposed lack of purity in that Ewan and Charley had a support team and a few sponsors. Whatever. If you ask me, the support team was pretty thin, and it's clear that many times they were just winging it and improvising as they went along. This was emphatically not a Camel Trophy-type extraveganza, with flocks of accompanying helicopters, spare vehicles, and squads of mechanics standing by with truckloads of spare parts, and it certainly didn't appear to be a luxury trip by any stretch. Call it a compromise between a full-on expedition (complete with porters and truckloads of "essential equipment") and a threadbare by-the-seat-of-our-pants penniless slog taking many months or even years. Sure, in a perfect world you'd take two years to undergo such a journey, and thus provide yourself with plenty of time to see everything and get to know the people and cultures in great detail. But let's face it, 99.99 percent of us will never be able to pull that off, either due to: 1) family/career obligations; 2) a lack of time; 3) a lack of money; 4) a lack of balls; or 5) all of the above. That's just the way it is. But these guys went out and did it, however imperfectly. That's just fine in my book. Jolly good, blokes!
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on August 12, 2008
By Norma Beishir
author, Chasing the Wind

I really enjoyed their first book, but this one's much, much better. I have to admit that I like memoirs and travel journals better when they're not ghostwritten. I like to hear the voice of the person whose story I'm reading. In other words, I like it to be genuine.

Ewan and Charley's enthusiasm for their travels comes through in every page. The ups and downs they experience are there, with no sugar-coating. The photographs are better this time around as well, and some of the captions are quite amusing. There's one humorous photo of the two that looks as if they're about to rob a liquor store. Another, in which the guys are down to their shorts, makes me think of a line from "Smokey and the Bandit": "The last time I saw a leg that looked like that, it had a message tied to it."

My only disappointment with this book is that I would have liked to see some input from Ewan's wife, Eve, on her leg of the trip. As a woman, I'd enjoy getting her perspective. After all, she held her own after only six months of riding, while these two men had been riding for years before attempting a long trip. I laughed at her response to his objections when she wanted to join them.

She really should have put together her own trip with a group of women. I know a lot of female bikers who would have been willing to join her for a good cause. Isn't kicking the guys' butts always a good cause? Oh, yeah, and it could have been good for UNICEF, too.
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on May 22, 2009
Due to scheduling complications with the ferry for the first 1/3rd of the trip, Long Way Down (LWD) had a rushed and more stressful feel to it in comparison to Long Way Round. This led to a slightly less enjoyable experience for the reader/viewer in my opinion.

Nevertheless, this voyage is still Ewan and Charley at their best. These guys enjoy motorcycling and traveling on them so much that they make the best out of any situation.

The way they document the trip is so honest, and really opens you up to their personalities - something you rarely get to see with famous people. It's so honest and humble, yet funny and appropriately opinionated at the same time. The quality of the book - the editing, the photos and the writing are superb in their natural style.

The fact that they take time to do charity work as well as show the world things that most choose to ignore is wonderful. Plus, like the LWR trip - it's an incredible way to show the beauty of our world and politeness of so many of the people in it.

The books and movies are true magic on film - whether or not you like motorcycles or not (i am obsessed), it is nearly impossible to not fall in love with these two guys and their journey of a lifetime.
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on January 30, 2011
Like the LWR book, the LWD accompaniment sheds light on many areas not covered in the series and helps round out the adventure. In many instances it even improves the film, giving you a deeper perspective on the events. The writing skips back between Ewan and Charley, never resting on one subject too long to get boring and while they aren't professorial writers, they get the spirit of their adventure across.

It's fair to say that their journey is a mixed one. Physically it was an easier trip than their last, this time their problems man made. In giving themselves too little time to make the trip they are stressed, tired and spend the first half moaning. Once scheduling is dealt with they really settle in for an amazing ride across Africa.

Sadly this book focuses mainly on the first half of the journey, with the latter half covered in great speed. As I reached the last 100 pages I kept thinking "they're not going to cover half of what made the series" and they didn't.

For those looking for a motorcycling adventures, watch the TV series, for the fans read the book.
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on September 7, 2015
An excellent companion to the TV a bit more depth and understanding that is missed from watching it. Truly, the tone is excellent as well. No snobbery, just good fun with down to earth folks.
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on March 29, 2015
A bit difficult to read for me with the switching back and forth of writers. More a declaration of Ewan McGregor ability to spend unlimited funds than a practical guide to crossing wild country. How many of us can afford a Caravan of backup vehicles and personal escorts?
I'b be more interested in reading how he does alone on a bike , than with high paid escorts.

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on February 5, 2013
In Long Way Round, Charlie and Ewan set the stage for two best friends and their motorcycle journeys across the globe. You get to know the cast and crew in a personal way and see the journey through the eyes of avid adventure motorcyclists. In Long Way Down, they've ditched the whiney trip doctor from the first trip and replaced him with a doctor who better fits the spirit of the team. This film feels more personal to the viewer. Charlie and Ewan are more emotional this time around and the scenery and imagery is amazing. The stories of the journey are heartfelt and you really get a different perspective of how people live with each other and their environment throughout several different countries in Africa. The language is colorful at times for a younger audience (Charlie uses the F word extensively) but the story and journey are worth it. If you are not a motorcyclist, you will probably still enjoy the movie. If you are a motorcyclist, you'll be planning your next trip!
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on April 23, 2016
First off, if you have not seen Long Way Round and read the book that goes with it, you need to prior to this one. All the little quotes and jokes about their first adventure will not make sense. As I said with the prior series/book you should watch the documentary series than the book. The rich details and stories they talk about between the scenes is wonderfully engaging and only makes you want more. There has been rumors of another adventure Long Way Up from the tip of South America to LA, USA but to date nothing :(. Would love another LWR but taking all detours of the places they missed on the first trip and also using what they have learned from these last 2 trips could be even better than a whole countries.
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on September 7, 2008
A travel story. Short on drama and suspense but a lot of description of lands and peoples. Little talk about motorcycles even though they had some difficulties that could have added some interest. I enjoyed it for what it is.
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on April 16, 2014
Loved, loved, loved this book. Pure escapism for those of us who cannot ride a motor bike but who love adventure. Their tales of adventure throughout Africa made Africa become part of my "bucket list". This beats a novel any day.
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